EU Fast-Tracks China Textile Dispute

The European Union yesterday issued a final warning to China over its booming textile exports, threatening sanctions against two categories of textiles to prevent ?irreparable harm? to European producers. EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson has proposed emergency talks with China on imports of T-shirts and flax yarn. T-shirts and flax yarn are two of the nine categories of textile imports from China currently under investigation by Brussels following allegations of a surge in exports. Under the emergency talks procedure the normal 60 day WTO procedure is by-passed:

Normally investigations can take up to 60 days, but the procedure allows for this period to be cut short and urgent consultations within the WTO triggered for any product where import surges and the risk of immediate damage to the EU industry are very high. “In view of the seriousness of market disruption in these categories, formal consultations need to begin immediately,” the European Commission said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Only if China does not take effective action will the Commission propose temporary limits or safeguard measures on the growth of Chinese exports in the categories concerned in 2005.”

Under WTO rules, the consultation procedure requires China to remedy the situation by slowing the growth of its exports in these area to the level of the first 12 of the previous 14 months, plus 7.5 per cent.

Does this decision mean people are really getting nervous about the upcoming French constitution referendum? I have a longer post on this topic here.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".